BERLIN, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Xaver howled through Germany's north coastal region on late Thursday at a speed of around 140 km/h, disrupting road, railway and air and ferry traffic.
The weather service has issued an extreme weather warning for the northern German states and the authorities advised residents to stay indoors.
German Weather Service (DWD) issued an extreme weather warning for the northern states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Bremen, expecting temperatures to plummet overnight below freezing point in northern Germany.
Snow and sleet brought by the hurricane have wreaked havoc on the German road traffic as the A20 motorway saw several accidents near the northern city of Rostock, leading to a standstill in the evening as rescue work went on.
Also on Thursday night, local TV station ZDF reported that a minibus collided with a car on the B65 highway in southern Lower Saxony state. At least five people were injured in the accident.
Meanwhile, flights were canceled at Cologne/Bonn, Duesseldorf and Hamburg airports. The city of Hamburg suffered a direct attack of the hurricane on Thursday. Local paper the Bild quoted meteorologist Niklas Weise as saying that two more severe storm surges were to be expected in Hamburg over the night.
Xaver will continue to rage on Friday, said the expert, adding that the focal point will then be located in northeastern Germany.
Christmas markets and schools in the region were closed as authorities advised locals to stay indoors due to the danger of fallen trees or roofs that may be blown off.
The authorities also warned late Thursday night in an official message of a "very serious storm surge" in Hamburg on Friday morning when the flood water may reach 5.60 meters above sea level.